A perfect time of year to celebrate home-grown talent

Tracy Bruen, who co-hosts Galway's longest-running Open-Mic night.
Tracy Bruen, who co-hosts Galway's longest-running Open-Mic night.

The early months of the year can feel like a quiet time of year when it feels like there isn’t much going on. It’s a good time, then, to bring attention to the residencies and open mics that run year-round in Galway city.

Ever Thursday in The Crane Bar, Greg Cotter and Mary Flanagan play downstairs. Theirs is a freewheeling session that can encompass trad and folk, with Greg’s distinctive voice bringing it all together.

Every Tuesday at 10pm in The Western on Prospect Hill, Liam Carroll hosts a session that is open to anyone. Currently being hosted by Aidan Curran while Liam is away, performers of all levels of experience are welcome to take part.

The longest running open mic night takes place in the Róisín Dubh on Sunday nights. Hosted by Tracy Bruen and Steven Sharpe, it is an integral part of Galway’s thriving songwriter scene.

“It’s a great community,” says Thomas McPartland, and open-mic regular who released his debut EP last year. “There’s so much talent in such a small area. Monologues, comedians, people you’ve never heard of who turn up and blow your mind. I go there every Sunday if I can.”

Then, there is Citóg, the weekly Wednesday night showcase that brings left-of-centre, original music to the Róisín Dubh.

So, there’s no need to be sitting at home saying there’s nothing to do!